with perhaps a guard to every second or third gun, it being dark and the regimental commanders wisely forbearing to weaken their commands by leaving strong guards. It was owing to this fact that the troops of General Devin's command, arriving on the ground and seeing so many pieces of artillery without guards, volunteered their assistance, which was gratefully accepted on the part of my men. My extreme advance having passed beyond Strasburg and reached Fisher's Hill, where the last gun was taken, were returning when they met General Devin's advance about one mile north of Strasburg posting guards over the captured artillery, wagons, ambulances, &c. Before returning. Colonel Wells, commanding Second Brigade of this division and who on that occasion commanded the advance, made arrangements for the transfer of all the captured guns, &c., to the north bank of Cedar Creek.
From the above relation of facts it will readily be seen how the claims of General Devin's command to a share of the captures on that day originated. A division of infantry belonging to the Nineteenth Corps was sent to Strasburg that night to help secure and bring off the captured artillery, wagons, &c.
To General Devin's troops and to this division of infantry the thanks of my command are due for their assistance in bringing off the guns (forty-five in number) captured by my command from the enemy that day.
In closing my report I desire particularly to mention Colonel Wells, First Vermont Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade, and Colonel A. C. M. Pennington, Third New Jersey Cavalry, commanding First Brigade. Both these officers distinguished themselves by their personal gallantry and by the successful and skillful manner in which they handled their commands. For their behavior during the engagement, as well as for their corresponding good conduct in the cavalry engagement of the 9th of October, I recommend them for promotion to the rank of brigadier-general U. S. Volunteers.
My staff officers who have been mentioned in former reports again distinguished themselves by their courageous bearing and rendered me most invaluable assistance throughout the engagement. I append a list of their names; Surg. L. P. Woods, surgeon-in-chief; Captain Charles W. Lee, Third Indiana Cavalry, provost-marshal; Captain L. W. Barnhart, commissary of musters; Captain E. F. Decker, acting aide-de-camp; Lieutenant E. F. Norvell, acting aide-de-camp; Lieutenant F. A. Nims, acting aide-de-camp; Lieutenant B. F. Gilbert, Third Indiana Cavalry, commanding escort; Lieutenant Henry Mayell, signal officer.
G. A. CUSTER,
Brevet Major-General, Commanding Third Division.
Major WILLIAM RUSSELL, JR.,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Cavalry, Middle Military Division.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD CAVALRY DIVISION
October 21, 1864
SOLDIERS OF THE THIRD CAVALRY DIVISION:
With pride and gratification your commanding general congratulates you upon your brilliant and glorious achievements of the past few days. On the 9th of the present month you attacked a vastly superior force of the enemy's cavalry, strongly posted, with artillery in position, and